Gluten-Free Flatbread Recipe made from Soaked Whole Grains (yeast-free, vegan)

Ali Segersten Mar 27, 2012 67 comments
Gluten-Free Flatbread Recipe made from Soaked Whole Grains (yeast-free, vegan)

I'm very excited to share this super simple gluten-free flatbread recipe with you today. It is made entirely from soaked gluten-free whole grains....no flours! This is a guest post from the lovely Kim Wilson of Simply Natural Health. Kim has written a fabulous e-book entitled Good and Easy Eats where you can find more of her delicious gluten-free soaked whole grain recipes! When Kim emailed me her recipe yesterday I immediately made it. I actually already had the two main ingredients prepped and ready to go....a bowl of millet and brown basmati rice soaking on the counter (in the correct measurements). My children devoured it right away and are asking when I will be making more! I just want to add that it is imperative that you sort through your millet (before soaking) and pick out any gluten grains. Millet is almost always contaminated with gluten! Happy Baking! ~Ali 

It’s a thrilling opportunity to be able to offer a guest blog here as I’ve admired Ali's delicious recipes, lovely photos, and family-approach to natural eating for years. It was fourteen years ago when our family began embracing whole foods as the solution to our health issues. It wasn’t an easy transition initially as my husband was an extremely picky eater and I didn’t like cooking. Because of this I was highly motivated to find the quickest and easiest ways to prepare the most nutritionally-dense and family-pleasing foods. When I focused on developing more gluten-free recipes in an effort to help our adopted son (non-verbal and with many characteristically autistic behaviors), I was excited to find that the whole food approach to gluten-free cooking provided much more satisfying results than any of the costly, unappetizing and nutritionally-devoid gluten-free products and mixes out there.

Most gluten-free folks would probably agree that a couple of the toughest foods to replace satisfactorily are bread and pizza. I’ve worked for several months on developing and refining the super-simple, extremely versatile flatbread recipe I’m sharing here. I particularly love this kind of recipe because it begins with whole grains in contrast to whole grain flours. The grains are soaked, which increases their digestibility and nutritional profile, blended, and then POURED onto a hot baking stones or skillets. No more wrestling with sticky dough or batter!

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About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book.

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Comments

Hi Kim, this recipe looks amazing! I'm about to make it right now, however I don't have whole brown rice and millet BUT I do have sprouted organic millet and rice flours. The recipe calls for 1 cup of Uncooked rice - how much would that be if converted into a rice flour? Same with millet (no uncooked millet at home but I have sprouted millet flour ready) - just need to know proportions!
Thanks so much!
Tatiana

Hi,
i made this but at first I did not really like the flavour. I used a bit less salt, mind you. And because I did not quite have the required amount of oil I put in a bit of plain yogurt. Anyway, the next day and the second day, it seemed to taste much better and I then I quite enjoyed the rest of it with beans and a salad. I will make it again, experimenting with sunbstituting other grains in place of the rice and maybe I will add some herbs to see whatflavours come up. Thanks

Unknown: This is my adaptation to the recipe and this amount will make 2 large stoneware bar pans of flat bread or equivalent. Unfortunately, I have never used Chia seed in a recipe so I have no idea how much to use in place of the ground flax seed.

Aussiegirl’s adaptation:

1 ¼ c. Brown Rice
1 ¼ c. Millet
Filtered water to well cover by several inches [at least 4 c.].

Soak 24 hours, drain, rinse, drain [strainer must be super fine hole or use muslin or cheesecloth as the Millet is small]

Pre-heat the oven to 450

Into a heavy duty blender put:
Drained rice/millet
2 ¼ c. water
Cover and grind to smooth batter. Pour into a bowl, cover and let sit on the bench for another 24 hrs [8-12 hr. is better than none] **This fermenting makes it much more easily digestible.

**BEFORE YOU PUT ANYTHING ELSE INTO THE GROUND RICE/MILLET** Prepare 2 large bar pans – 10 x 15” [I use stoneware] or equivalent iron skillets. Grease them well and if desired, sprinkle heavily with Un-hulled Sesame Seed – super good in my opinion :)

Add to the ground rice/millet and stir well:
2 tsp. Agave or honey or Maple Syrup
1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tbs. EVOO
1 ¾ tsp. salt
4 tsp. Baking Powder

JUST BEFORE POURING INTO BAKING PANS:
Whisk in ½ c. ground Flax Seed till smooth

Pour *quickly* into the prepared pans… the reason for the “hurry” is that if you wait, the batter gets THICK from the Flax seed and it’s not the easiest to spread out – especially if you are using the sesame seeds on the bottom of the pans. Pouring quickly, allows the batter to spread out with a gentle tilting of the pans.

Put into the pre heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pans from top to bottom and bottom to top and bake another 15 minutes. Batter will have shrunk from the sides of the pans some and be golden on top.

Allow to cool and cut into desired shapes – more squarish for sandwiches or long rectangles for spreading with nut butters etc.

Once completely cooled, store in a freezer Zip Lock bag in the refrigerator. Remove as needed and toast before using. If you like chewy bread, toast for a longer time.

It keeps for me up to 2 weeks in the fridge… My body is VERY happy when I eat this bread…

aussiegirl, I'd like to try it your way. Do you just soak the grains in 1 3/4 cup water? And then do you add any more water? Also, I don't have flax seeds, how much chia seeds should I use to replace them?
Thanks! Oh, I was also unclear on whether the recipe was listing the acv to soak with or add to everything later.

I read through the comments and was surprised to see that several folks had batter that was too runny. Mine was too dry and thick, oddly enough. Can I just add water if that happens again? That might seem obvious I guess, but often when it comes to cooking, what seems obvious to me is actually the exact wrong thing to do, so I figure it's always good to ask.

Thank you so much for this recipe! I love it! Even though my batter was a little too thick, I was still able to flatten it out, and it came out delicious. I've been aching for something to pair with soups and chilis that doesn't have xanthan gum in it, and this is exactly what I need! Many many thanks!

This looks great Kim! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I'll let you know how it turns out.

I first "discovered" this recipe back in Oct... I have made it dozens of times since then! I soak the grains nearly 24 hrs. Then grind them with the water and let the batter ferment on the bench [covered w/cloth] for 24-36 hrs.

I make 1 1/4 times the original recipe and bake it in 2 large (10x15") stoneware bar pans... I grease them and then totally cover the bottom of the pan with un-hulled sesame seeds... when baking, I rotate the pans half way through - oh and I bake them for 25-30 min. The Sesame seeds become nicely toasted and the bread is a bit crispy and very delicious.

The other thing I do is prepare the pans first... then stir in the liquid ingredients. I then QUICKLY WHISK IN THE DRY INGREDIENTS and IMMEDIATELY pour the "thin" batter into the pans - I discovered that if I wait, it becomes TOO THICK from the flax seed and is extremely difficult to spread out without disrupting the Sesame seeds.

Thank you so very much for this absolutely delicious flat bread recipe... I want to add some roasted garlic one of these times and maybe some Oregano and Basil for an Italian version of flat bread....

With Much Grateful Appreciation,
Marie

This maybe a dumb question, but I was wondering if the ACV called for in the recipe is that which you use in soaking, or in addition to any used in soaking.

Jessica

I tried out this recipe, but I don't have a vitamix, so I tried doing it as best as I could. I first blended up all the soaked grains as well as I could, then added a little bit of water at a time, blending it first until I had a paste, then until I had a thick batter, and then until I had a runnier batter, and then added the rest of the required water. But it was still very runny, much runnier than in your picture. The result was a bread that tasted good, but was pretty crumbly and cracked a lot. Did anyone else who tried this without a vitamix have success making a sandwich bread?

Well, I made the recipe, and the taste is quite good. My only complaint is that although I basically liquified the batter, there are still little pieces of the grains that making chewing hard (especially if you have fragile teeth such as I do). Can the grains be substituted with rice and millet flour? Or does the bread lose some of its "body" then?

This recipe is amazing! I made a "half" recipe to see how we liked it and I baked the 'half' recipe in my Pampered Chef Large Bar Stoneware pan... the batter was quite thin... It turned out fantastic and we really like the 'thin' flatbread... I have so many ideas circling in my mind of ways to change it around etc... thin crust pizza, garlic and herb... Mexican w/chili powder, coriander and cumin... the variety is endless. Thank you, thank you, thank you... I know I won't be buying the $5/loaf of Millet Flax bread now :)

Thank you for this recipe. I'm recovering from PI IBS and have had to quickly educate myself about how to eat GF, soy free, no night shades etc. etc. I followed this recipe exactly and it turned out wonderful. My family and I finished it every bite the same day it came out of the oven! I now play with the recipe and found now have two more flavors to offer at our table. I add fresh chopped rosemary & sea salt crystals to the hot cast iron pan before pouring the batter on it. YUM! The other version has diced greek olives folded & a little rosemary into the batter before pouring onto the hot pan. Both of these versions are wonderful with a slice of your favorite cheese. We also toast these little gems the next day. I am so grateful to be enjoying bread again!!

I had only 1/4 cup of brown rice so I completed the rest with 1/4 cup of lentils, 1/4 cup split peas and 1/4 cup of buckwheat and it came out amazing! Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

Wow. I cannot believe how amazing this bread is. I haven't had bread in a few years now (aside from a tiny pinch here and there, so this was incredibly delicious!! I've just recently begun really experimenting with grains and feel it's very important -- for me at least -- to try and minimize the phytic acid they contain. To that end I soaked the brown rice and millet for 24 hrs in separate jars with filtered water, 1 T each jar raw milk whey, and 1 T each jar freshly-ground buckwheat flour from raw buckwheat groats (another delicious recent discovery! Completely different from preground buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is high in phytase which breaks down the phytic acid in the millet and the rice (which are both naturally low in this enzyme).

Other changes I made:
1) replaced olive oil in the recipe with pastured pork lard
2) reduced water to 1.5 cups or slightly under bc of the longer soaking time
3) uses my Cuisinart 7-cup food processor to blend everything
4) used my giant 15" iron skillet (which is well seasoned) and melted plenty of lard in the bottom during preheating
5) sprinkled sesame seeds in the skillet first before pouring in the batter, and then poppy seeds on the top surface which I thought would add some variety & interest

The bottom crust is rich and oily and the bread is just like a good focaccia! I think that would actually be a better name for this bread.

I have signed up for Kim's newsletter and can't wait to get the sandwich bread recipe and probably some ebooks down the road! (would get them ASAP if they came as an iPhone app :)

I know this will be incredible with garlic butter or garlic oil. And am already envisioning making it with smashed roasted garlic cloves stuck in the top....maybe some good olives too... Yum yum

We are on the Body Ecology diet and are thankful for this recipe! Haven't tried it yet... had a question. We will be substituting Millet for the rice... any tips on what else you would do to make it turn out ok? i.e. not crumbly? Thanks again!

I was wondering if you can tell me how you used it for pizza. I made it, cooking it for 10 minutes and then adding oil, cheese and toppings. I cooked it for another 20 minutes at least and it was doughy. I wondered if I should have cooked it longer at first AND if I had would it have burned with the extra time it took to melt the cheese. Any input you have would be appreciated. I made just bread with the leftover dough and it was great! Thanks for this fun, easy and healthy recipe.

Made this tonight. I will say that in the absence of a high powered blender, this recipe was difficult. I couldn't get the rice to smooth out. That being said, even with the crunchy bits present, the texture was still amazing, bottom as super crispy! The taste was OK, on the bland side (but that would lend itself well to a pizza crust!!!) Made the bit of leftover batter I had in the cast iron skillet and it turned out soft and pretty gross, def using the stone in the oven again next time. This is worth it if you have the right equipment.

I really love this recipe, can't wait to try it!!

Wow wow wow! What a gorgeous recipe! So excited to make it except one little problem. We can't have seeds of any kind. Is the flax seed meal meant as an egg replacer? (we cant have eggs either). Any suggestions on replacing/substituting for this?

Thanks in advance -
Stephanie

This is delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, although I soaked the grains for closer to 48 hours (simply because I didn't get to making the bread on the day intended). It ended up thinner than in the pictures (perhaps because of increased moisture in the over-soaked grains?) but the flavor is incredible - I don't miss the wheat at all - and I am extra pleased that it is texturally/structurally "normal" (as not all our egg- and wheat-free attempts have been). We are new to allergy-friendly baking (our son is allergic to wheat, egg, nuts, chickpeas, lentils, and strawberries) but this was definitely a success. Thank you, Ali AND Kim, for sharing. Your website has been a huge help to us.

This looks amazing, I am going to pass this onto my friend who is on a candida cleanse, she cannot have yeast.

My son was diagnosed with ADHD and for a year now we have been gluten free and casein free, it's done WONDERS for him. We are sharing our story in hopes it will help other mom's looking for alternative ways to manage ADHD.

Here is a link to my blog if your interested in reading it:

http://troysnewstart.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much for sharing!!

SOOOOO good. I even used a baking sheet and it turned out wonderful. didn't rise a lot because the pan that I used is pretty big but that's fine because we are going to use it for sandwiches anyway. my kids love it and now I don't have to buy processed expensive gluten free bread anymore. can't thank you enough!!!

Ali, thanks a lot for your blog. I have a question not related to this recipe. I wonder if a can substitute xanthan for the combination of psyllium husk and ground chia in all the recipes that ask for it?

you also post about somebody else replacing xanthan for potato flour and sweet rice flour, so do you think all this replacements would work for every recipe that asks for xanthan?

thank you

Amy-
I'm sorry you didn't have good results. The stone needs to be preheated very well so the batter begins to cook immediately. Well-seasoned stones or cast-iron skillets work best. Be sure to oil liberally if not. I hope you have better luck with your next try!

PatP-
You can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar, or leave it out entirely. It won't too greatly impact the final product.

I made it with quinoa/rice (soaked the same way) and it worked fine. I used two of our cast-iron Le Crueset pans and it didn't stick much at all. Thanks for the recipe!

I tried this recipe yesterday, and I had a couple problems, hoping you can help me! First, my batter was too runny. I can tell by Kim's picture that mine was much runnier when I poured it on the stone, and it turned out very thin, not a bit tall like hers'. I'm sure I used the correct amounts, though I did soak the grains for almost 24 hours. Do they soak up more liquid when soaked for a longer period of time?
It also stuck to my pizza stone pretty badly, would that be because my stone hasn't yet build up a non stick surface? It's been used a handful of times. Or maybe the runny nature of the batter affected it sticking?
Thanks!

Since this is a flatbread, could it be done without any leavening agent (without the baking powder)?

Delicious DELICIOUS recipe!!! Loved it and the kids did, too! xoLexie

Thanks Carla, good idea!

Krista - I am not sure what's happening. I've been making Kim's recipe exactly as written and it turns out perfectly. I know she means 2 teaspoons. What kind of rice are you using? It has to be long grain brown rice, such as basmati or jasmine. Short grain or sweet rice would make it gooey.

Are you sure that is teaspoons and not Tablespoons for the Baking powder? I tried the recipe twice and both times it didn't rise properly and was gooey inside. Our baking powder is very fresh.

Just genius! Sounds wonderful and so healthy! You may wish to consider adding the words "gluten-free" to the baking powder, as some contain gluten. Rumford brand is gluten-free and aluminum-free. Hope this helps someone who is gluten intolerant.

Julie-

I use the flat backing stones. When you pour the batter in a back and forth motion on the stone it begins to bake immediately and ends up holding itself in place. Also, the batter isn't so thin that it would fall off the side (as long as you don't put it too close to the edge). It's the kind of thing you need to experience it to see how it works.

I wonder what I could substitute for the vinegar since I am allergic to yeast, so I can't use vinegar or soy sauce in/on my food. Any suggestions?

Erin-
I remember making Native American flatbread with my son when we were studying the west and it seemed a fair bit like "fried dough". This has a different texture and flavor, but I'd encourage you to give it a try. It's an interesting thought though- that pouring the batter onto a preheated surface is a lot like how native flatbreads are shaped and thrown on hot stones. Hmmmm.

Sam-
I think you could get good results with the barley, but it wouldn't be gluten-free in that case. It would also be best to begin with unhulled barley versus pearled barley.

Chris-
This recipe wouldn't lend itself to dehydration, though my Everyday Wholesome Eating...In the Raw recipe book has some great dehydrated cracker and crust options.

NataB-
The sweetener can easily be left out of the recipe with no great impact on the final product. I would try it this way before trying with an alternative sweetener.

Anonymous (looking for flax substitute)-
You can substitute ground chia for the ground flax seed (1 tsp. per 1 Tbsp.). I'm haven't tried eggs in the recipe but if I did I would begin by reducing the water slightly and adding just one or two beaten eggs.

Kristina-
You can certainly substitute ground chia for the ground flax. I find you need less chia than flax in recipes (try subbing 1 tsp. of ground chia for each Tbsp. of ground flax).

Helena-
You could substitute white vinegar for the apple cider vinegar, but personally I don't recommend using white vinegar in foods (though it's great for cleaning purposes!). Lemon juice would be a more wholesome substitute.

Anonymous-
I'm sorry- I forgot to respond to the tail end of your question. Yes- you can substitute sorghum for the millet.

Anonymous-
I haven't tried a glass baking dish. This would certainly work in terms of holding the heat as long as there aren't safety issues with preheating the empty glass dish to 450 degrees.

Christine-
I would certainly give the basic recipe a try with buckwheat and quinoa (presoaked as the brown rice and millet are). I wonder if adding some sesame seeds would balance the flavors of these two non-traditional grains a bit. Or maybe even sunflower or pumpkin seeds. My mind also goes to adding a soaked legume (like mung beans). Oh- you've opened up all kinds of experimentation now!

Question on the baking stone - can you use a totally flat baking stone, or does it have to be one with raised sides? It seems like the batter would run off the edges of a flat one, but never having made this before maybe it's thick enough to hold its own. I don't have a cast iron skillet but I do have a flat baking stone, so I would love to try it!

Does anyone know if this tastes anything like bannock (Native American flatbread). I've been looking for an alternative.

Sounds great! Since I need to control blood sugar, could pearled barley be successfully (and tastily!) substituted for the rice? My understanding is that barley has a lower glycemic index. Many thanks for your insight ... and for the recipe!

Thank you thank you thank you!!! This is the most amazing flatbread ever! So simple to make without any added gums or yeast. It is just perfect!

I recently blogged about Gluten Free Multi Grain Pancakes (with soaked grains) and they were the best pancakes I'd ever eaten. I can't wait to try this bread!

Can this be dehydrated rather than baked so as to keep it raw?
Thanks!!!

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